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10 Minerals That Heal Mind and Body

A plate of cheese
A plate of cheese (Yekophotostudio/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:13 PM

We often focus on vitamins when trying to improve our health, but minerals are sometimes overlooked and are crucial to our well-being, keeping our "batteries" charged because our bodies do not manufacture minerals we need to get them from supplements and the foods we eat.

Minerals help maintain a healthy heart rate, build strong bones, and boost brain power, says leading nutritionist Tara Collingwood, M.S. RDN, team dietitian for the Orlando Magic pro basketball team.

"It's important to eat a diet full of wholesome foods to get an adequate intake of minerals," she tells Newsmax.

Here are 10 essential minerals required by the body and their best food sources:

1. Calcium. This is a crucial mineral for bone health and for maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also plays a significant role in milk production during pregnancy.

Best food sources: Collingwood says that milk, cheese, and yogurt are the preferred sources for calcium. "You can also get calcium from fortified foods such as calcium-fortified nut milks, nutrition bars, cereals, and more," she says. "Leafy greens have some calcium, but usually less than 10%, which is the number that signifies a good source."

2. Magnesium. The benefits are many, from maintaining a healthy metabolism to stabilizing the nervous system. Magnesium is also an effective aid for treating migraines, menstrual pain, and constipation. A large-scale study conducted in the Netherlands that found people with lower levels of magnesium were more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's than those with mid-range to high levels. Unfortunately, many people do not get adequate amounts in their diet, notes Dr. Tod Cooperman M.D., founder of ConsumerLab.com.

Best food sources: Dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, whole grains and some fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and halibut.

3. Phosphorus. Like calcium, phosphorus helps build strong bones and teeth. It also helps your body filter waste and repairs tissue and cells. While most people get enough phosphorus from their diet, certain diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism can cause phosphorus levels to drop too low.

Best food sources: Meat and poultry, fish, milk and other dairy products, nuts and seeds, beans.

4. Iron. Known as the blood mineral, iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and transporting oxygen in the body, says Collingwood. Without enough iron, you may feel tired and dizzy and can even develop anemia.

Best food sources: Organ meat, lentils, spinach, cooked oysters, white beans, and fortified cereals.

5. Zinc. This trace mineral is vital for the immune system and wound healing and crucial for sexual development and reproduction. Zinc deficiency can make a person more susceptible to disease and illness.

Best food sources: Beans, animal meats, raw oysters, lobster, and wild rice.

6. Boron. This trace mineral has been recently recognized as a potential cancer fighter, specifically reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer. It also helps the body absorb other minerals and may be beneficial in preserving good bone health and mental function.

Best food sources: Raisins, almonds, dried apricots, peanut butter, Brazil nuts, and kidney beans.

7. Sodium. Although most of us in America get too much sodium in our diet, it is still a much-needed mineral, says Collingwood. Sodium helps with the function of muscles and nerves and regulates the balance of fluids in the body. "Too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure and certain cancers," notes the expert.

Best food sources: Beets, celery, beef, spinach and chard, cantaloupe, and shellfish all contain natural sodium that can supply well under the limit of 1,500 milligrams daily suggested by the American Heart Association.

8. Selenium. This is a powerful anti-oxidant trace mineral that helps protect your immune system and assist in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Some studies show it even protects cognitive function and may prevent some cancers.

Best food sources: Brazil nuts, fish — especially yellowfin tuna — ham, port, beef, turkey, eggs, lentil, and oatmeal.

9. Potassium. We are all aware that this mineral is essential to our health, but we may not know that is also an electrolyte that helps conducts electrical impulses through the body.  This helps stabilize blood pressure, heart rhythm, digestion, and many other crucial functions.

Best food sources: Fruits such as apricots, bananas, kiwi and oranges; leafy green vegetables, carrots, potatoes, lean meats, whole grains, and beans.

10. Iodine. One-third of the population is at risk of deficiency from this important mineral that helps your thyroid gland produce thyroid hormones. This often occurs in areas where the soil has been depleted of iodine.

Best food sources: Seaweed, cod, dairy products, iodized salt, shrimp, tuna, prunes, and eggs.

© 2019 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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Minerals help maintain a healthy heart rate, build strong bones, and boost brain power, says leading nutritionist Tara Collingwood, M.S. RDN, team dietitian for the Orlando Magic pro basketball team.
health, minerals, diet
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:13 PM
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